What overturning Roe v. Wade would mean for abortion rights in Michiana

Questions surround a leaked Supremes Court draft opinion that would overturn abortion rights in the landmark case Roe vs. Wade, nearly 50 years after the original ruling. Some people now worry about rolling abortion bans and other civil rights decisions.

This weekend, people gathered in downtown South Bend to protest the Supreme Court’s draft opinion. While the draft is not a final decision, it could have swift consequences following the Court’s final ruling which is expected in June.

Right now, the US is one of a few countries to tighten abortion laws in recent years, as opposed to easing restrictions. According to recent polls, most Americans support keeping Roe in place, legalizing abortion nationwide. However, a conservative majority in the Supreme Court could reverse the decision leaving abortion rights up to states.

There are also concerns that the Supreme Court could overturn other landmark cases like interracial marriage and same-sex marriage, as well as state new restrictions on contraception.

In the opinion, such landmark cases were referenced but its author Justice Samuel Alito argued that Roe differed from others because it involves the loss of a potential life, but legal experts are still concerned given his opposition to same-sex marriage in the past.

But what would overturning Roe v Wade mean here for us here in Michiana?

Experts predict that nearly 26 states will likely attempt to ban abortion immediately following an overturned roe versus wade ruling, including Indiana and Michigan.

In Indiana, the state legislature has enacted 55 abortion restrictions and bans within the last ten years. State leaders like Republican representatives Jim Banks and Jackie Walorski applaud the Supreme Court opinion. Walorski called an overturning of the decision “an answer to prayer.” Banks vowed to call special legislative sessions to ban abortions as soon as the Supreme Court issues its ruling.

And in Michigan, the state still has an 81-year-old law in place that criminalizes abortions. The law has not been enforced since the Roe v. Wade ruling. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with Planned Parenthood of Michigan have filed lawsuits to challenge this law and protect abortion under Michigan’s constitution.

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